Today: May 28, 2024

Gnaw

Obviously
wearing its Texas Chainsaw Massacre
influence on its sleeve, Gregory Mandry’s Gnaw
is sure to put anyone off renting a cosy cottage in the countryside for a
while; that is unless you’re not averse to running into the odd chainsaw-wielding cannibal or a
disturbingly happy-to-please with
endless pies
housekeeper.

Far from
an English tourism promotional video (which would be better acted) Gnaw puts six college friends in the
middle of a weekend away who obviously haven’t seen Deliverance or Wrong Turn,
and showing a complete disregard for nearly all of Screams’ rules for survival.

While
Mandry’s Saw-like effort follows a typical slasher plot (minimal set-up,
plenty of naked bath shots, dumb teens running into hook-strewn barns) there’s little new to suggest we’ve a fresh horror
maestro
on our hands. While some scenes evoke the necessary tension, others
are too derivative to leave the viewer baying for more in this blood-fest bore.

Despite
copious amounts of corn syrup and masks seemingly rented from either Doctor Who or The Village, Gnaw’s
teens-in-peril are so dumb they make the standard villains look like Mastermind
champions by comparison. Endlessly
wandering into deserted outbuildings
or trap-infested dark woods it’s hard
to feel much characterisation has gone into Mandry’s flesh-fodder.

Though certain moments evoke Hostel’s grisly gore
– losing your tongue takes on a new meaning – watching students ignorantly
devour their friends without questioning what’s in the pies when there’s barely
a cow or chicken in sight is far more
entertaining
.

Even
though Gnaw delivers some well shot
sequences and ideas – you’re unlikely to ever buy a burger from one of those
roadside snack vans again – this low-budget Brit-flick is simply Gnawful.

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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